Whew! Three birthdays all within a five day span. Ice cream cake, cheesecake, and pumpkin pie have left us all a bit groggy in the aftermath of our party week. We left the single digit realm all in a day and while I’m so happy watching my young’uns grow and mature, as a mama, I’m also left with a bit of an ache in my gut over the whole house living in the double digit world now.
She was an easy one to please, with her only request for her birthday being that she not be required to go to swimming lessons that afternoon, and not have to do school either, and to do a birthday hike. I asked if she wanted friends over for the occasion but she replied, “Well I want to see my friends around my birthday but not on my birthday. I just want us on my birthday.” How very sweet indeed that she’d opt for her immediate family to be what makes her birthday so special. We’re thrilled, of course!
Prior to hubby’s gargantuan numbered birthday, I took my almost 17 year old into town for a morning tea and scone at our favourite Tea Room. We were too excited by the display of the scone and jam and clotted cream that I delved in too quickly before thinking to take a picture for y’all to see. But I got a shot of the most delicious Cream Earl Grey tea in the fancy tea cup after pouring the last of my three (or was it four?) cups. Violet wasn’t too thrilled about mama attracting attention outside the tea room to get a good shot of her in front of it, as you can see. She’s trying to flee while I take this.
Hubby was easy going about his 50th, not wanting a party of any kind, but requesting us all to go to The Keg for a good steak dinner the night before his big day. We thought we’d add a bit of fun for his day by hanging a disco ball (since that’s totally his era) and have him do a nifty fifty dance under it. He agreed to a quick nifty fifty dance under the rotating disco ball but only for the family to see, so sorry folks, no dancing daddy here to show you.
The last of the birthdays fell on Saturday and the request was to visit the town of Stratford, where the plays the thing. Each year from April until October Shakespeare plays (and a few other features and musicals) run in different theatres in the town, drawing people world-wide to the quaint town for these shows, as well as the neat row of shops along the main street, and the river to walk around, complete with swans, geese, and ducks (though way too many for our comfort!)
We live but an hour and twenty minutes southeast of Stratford so we feel very privileged to be this close to take in plays and the joy of small town shops and a wonderful place to picnic and stroll around.
Just prior to arriving in Stratford we pass through the small town of Shakespeare, about 15 km from our destination.
We started our day in a delicious Italian Eatery named Fellini’s along the main street in town. Both of us decided on the quiche of the day, smoked gouda and swiss chard. Soup and salad and the freshest of bread was served alongside this. If you get a chance to do Stratford, make sure you stop by this restaurant for lunch!
Had to take the pic of not only the Scottish Shop (I take pics ALL the time of British, Scottish, or Irish Shops, you’ll soon find out), but also of the Tea Shop, displaying the very hand-painted Polish dishes Violet is longing to collect in full. We found some of these pieces in none other than our favourite Ross store down south (and of course for cheaper than cheap) and haven’t seen them since until last summer on a trip to Oakville. Of course the prices left us a bit staggered so we just look and drool when we come across them. This was a biggie since one half of the entire store was dedicated to the dishes. But we’re thinking a tea pot just may have to be purchased at some point, as frugal as Violet is about her purchases.
Another favorite of ours is the store, 10,000 Villages, a fair trade market. We enjoyed looking through the jewelry, scarves, tea, baskets, and pottery. Violet came away with a birthday mug she is very happy with, and of which I’m now thinking I should have bought another one to keep as a set for her. I guess that will mean another trip to the closest 10,000 Villages. Shucks, shopping in a little quaint town again!
Later in the afternoon we strolled the riverside with our chai tea lattes and maple pecan pastries. Yes, a bit on the cold side with winter coats still in effect (please, please don’t tell me what temperature it was down south that same day!) but a lovely day all the same.
We came home to a special dinner of phyllo pastry stuffed with spinach and feta, and a cranberry, goat cheese, and walnut salad on the side. Just the thing to end the day. Oh ya, and can’t forget the pumpkin pie.
Since our newly two digit daughter had much cold and some rain on her birthday, we left the birthday hike until this past Sunday. What a difference! Glad we did so as it became t-shirt weather literally overnight (remember, Saturday around the river?) We walked the conservation area nearby, completing the loop, and meeting pretty much all of our city on the way around it (when the weather breaks up here we all get pretty darn excited about it), though I thought I did a pretty good job of capturing my quick alone-in-the-woods pics when everyone rounded the bends or were at least ten feet behind us.
We got back in the swing of a normal school week again and thinking everything spring now. So, my guess is, garden and birds, and hiking, and maybe more little town shopping are on the agenda for some upcoming posts. Be on the look-out!